Local blogger Larry Kelley killed in Route 9 crash


Published: 2/18/2017 10:44:08 AM

BELCHERTOWN — Larry Kelley, a longtime Amherst resident and father of two, was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Route 9 in Belchertown on Friday afternoon, according to those who knew him.

Kelley’s identity was confirmed by his ex-wife, Donna, at 10:40 a.m. Saturday. Kelley leaves behind two daughters, Jada, 10, and Kira, 15.

A number of Kelley’s friends and fellow community members expressed their condolences on his Facebook page, including his longtime business partner, Kirik Jenness, and Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz.

Northwestern District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Mary Carey confirmed Kelley’s death in a press release Saturday afternoon, in keeping with the office’s 24-hour policy.

The crash is under investigation, according to Carey. It was unclear Saturday morning how many people were involved in the fatal incident.

According to Amherst Police, several 911 calls came in around 2:45 p.m. Friday. The crash occurred in the area of 293 Federal St. near an intersection with Amherst Road. Victims were transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, the Gazette reported Friday.

Kelley was best known in Amherst for his blog, Only in the Republic of Amherst, where he kept close watch over town politics and breaking news events — and shared his own strong opinions. The self-dubbed citizen journalist tirelessly listened to his police scanner and posted the highlights on his Twitter account and Facebook page. He rushed to the scene of nearly every fatal car crash in town, and he frequented Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday mornings with his camera in tow. Residents adored the sweeping Amherst landscape photos Kelley captured with his drone camera.

Kelley, a member of Town Meeting, owned a karate studio in South Amherst for 28 years. He was a columnist at the Amherst Bulletin for 14 years, and once beat Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks in a martial arts fight. As of Saturday morning, dozens of people had posted their condolences to his Facebook page.

The fatal crash is under investigation by the Belchertown Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police accident reconstruction team and the district attorney’s office, Carey said.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Stephanie Murray can be reached at stephaniemur@umass.edu


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